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CBN forex ban: Nigerians imported N18tn cooking oil, meat, others in seven years – Report


Nigerians imported not less than nine items worth N18.12tn from the forex ban list of the Central Bank of Nigeria between 2016 and 2022,

The CBN had categorised about 41 import items as not valid for forex, which means that the importer will not be able to get forex from the apex bank for such items.

The apex bank said the restriction was part of efforts to sustain the stability of the foreign exchange market, ensure effective utilisation of foreign exchange and the derivation of optimum benefit from goods and services imported into the country.

However, these items were not banned or prohibited by the Nigerian Customs Service, so they can still be imported.

According to an analysis of Nigerian Foreign Trade reports of the National Bureau of Statistics from 2016 to 2022, items such as crude palm oil, vegetable products, animal products, meat, vegetable fats and oil, steel products, rubber, plastic, clothes, and textiles were imported from various countries.

Further breakdown showed that crude palm oil got a total of N283.8bn in seven years, with N39.5bn spent in 2017, N20.2bn in 2018, N19.1bn in 2019, N134.8bn in 2021 and N70.2bn in 2022. The item didn’t record any transactions in 2016 and 2020.

Vegetable products got N4.8tn with N283.2bn spent in 2016, N295.8bn in 2017, N407.6bn in 2018, N443bn in 2019, N1.1tn in 2020, N945.4bn in 2021, and N1.3tn in 2022.

Animal products recorded trade of N3.3trn with N664.3bn imported in 2016, N190.9bn in 2017, N365.3bn in 2018, N221bn in 2019, N793.5bn in 2020, N485.8bn in 2021 and N549.6bn in 2022.

Mackerel meat recorded a total of N491bn with N11.2bn in 2016, N27.5bn in 2017, N239.5bn in 2018, N37.92bn in 2019, N62.73bn in 2020, N95.3bn in 2021, and N17.1bn in 2022.

Other items restricted from accessing FX at the CBN official market include blue whiting’s frozen meat, which recorded a total of N204bn with N10.5bn worth of goods imported in 2017, N15.2bn in 2018, N21.86bn in 2019, N49.6bn in 2020, N65.5bn in 2021 and 41.5bn in 2022. The product, however, didn’t record any purchases in 2016.

Imported vegetable fats and oil goods got a total of N2.1trn with N35.5bn spent in 2016, N954.4bn in 2017, N72.9bn in 2018, N62.1bn in 2019, N482.3bn in 2020, N292.6bn in 2021 and N165.9bn in 2022.

Others, like steel products, other types of fish and clothes, recorded single transactions in 2017, 2020 and 2021 with N31.9bn, N24.6bn and N62.75bn, respectively.

N5.15tn was spent on rubber and plastic, while N1.67tn was spent on textiles.

The data showed that the sum of N336.47bn was spent on importing rubbers and plastic in 2016, while N79.9bn was spent on importing textiles in the same period.

The figures from the NBS also revealed that in 2017, N405.47bn was spent on rubber and plastics imports. Similarly, N102.62bn was spent on importing textiles in the same year.

Plastic products

According to data obtained from NBS, in 2018 alone, N607.4bn was spent on rubber and plastic imports, while N166.24bn was spent on textile imports.

The breakdown of the data revealed that in 2019, the sum of N536.77bn was spent on importing rubber and plastic, while the sum of N174.97bn was spent on importing textiles within this same year.

In 2020, a total of N1.46tn was spent on importing rubber and plastic, which is N25.6bn more than the amount spent in 2021. Meanwhile, N416.71bn was spent on textile imports in the same year.

The NBS also revealed that N367.68bn was spent on importing textiles in 2021, while N1.19tn was spent on rubber and plastic in the same year.

By 2022, N482.06bn was spent on importing rubber and plastic, while N365.46bn was spent on importing textiles.

A country-by-country breakdown showed that most products were imported from Europe and Asian countries.

However, available data didn’t specify the importing country for animal products, vegetable products, clothes, and other types of fish and vegetable fats and oil.

For crude palm oil, the analysis showed that Malaysia is majorly where the product is sourced with N129.7bn of the product imported during the period.

This is followed by India with N64.5bn, China with N24bn, Ivory Coast with N22.4bn of the product, Singapore with N20.8bn, Indonesia with N17.5bn, Columbia with N1.4bn and Ghana with N114m.

Mackerel products were obtained from the Netherlands at N53.6bn followed by Russia at N72bn, Japan at N43.9bn, Mauritania at N17.1bn, Ireland at N14.75, Chile at N13.9bn, Norway at N12.33bn, Faroe Island at N7.5bn, Morocco at N5.75bn and South Korea at N3.18bn.

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